$40 Million Available to Help Ranchers Restore Sage Grouse Habitat
Bonnie: “We think that will increase the number of acreage across the range. We think we can have a notable impact on the conservation of the bird by working with ranching.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) determined in September 2015 that the sage grouse population was healthy enough that it did not warrant protections under the Endangered Species Act (ESA)—the result of the unprecedented collaboration in public and private rangeland restoration.
Since 2010, ranchers and other private conservation partners participating in the Sage Grouse Initiative have restored and improved 4.4 million acres, benefitting not just the sage grouse, but 350 wildlife species that call the sagebrush landscape their home. Recent data show two sagebrush songbirds that share habitat with sage grouse also saw population increases following restoration activities. One of the birds, the green-tailed towhee, experienced an 81 percent population increase.